One of the most common questions we receive from small businesses is, "do we really need to start a separate business instagram"? And the answer is YES (x2).
Ok, So Why Does My Business Need An Instagram?
Since its humble beginnings, Instagram has been a powerful marketing tool for businesses looking to expand their presence and visibility. Known as a highly visual platform (and now transitioning towards video), Instagram is a tool for showcasing your brand, products, and services and creating community connection with your customers.
In this way it can act as a simple storefront or business card as well as a powerful lead generation and community building tool.
Industries such as fashion, food, travel, beauty, home decor, gardening and events have gained enormous success by adding Instagram to their overall marketing strategies.
In fact, YMA has helped generate communities of over 100,000 followers for multiple brands throughout the years and has seen first hand the power of the platform.
What Makes Instagram So Powerful?
Instagram boasts over 1.5 billion active users each month. They are also owned by the Parent company, Meta which is ranked the 5th largest and most valuable tech company behind players like Apple, Microsoft, and Google.
With such a large reach and backing, we can be sure there are benefits to using the platform as a small business owner. Let's take a look at some of the platform-specific features that can be used to benefit small biz:
Create photo or video posts
Using Instagram Stories that show on your profile for 24 hours
Create Instagram Reels, which are 15-, 30- or 60-second short-form videos (similar to TikToks)
Shop directly from e-commerce brands through the app
Book appointments, call, or email business directly through the app
Robust marketing data backed by Meta
Of course, it depends on your specific marketing strategy. Some questions to ask before jumping on the Instagram bandwagon incld:
Are you targeting Generation X or Millennials (Statista found that nearly 60% of Instagram users are under 34, and 18.1% are between 35 and 44)?
Do you have a distinct funnel to utilize Instagrams business features (like shoppable posts, or booking integrations)?
Can you build a community around your product or service that serves both your target audience and your business (some examples would be education or inspiration)?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then Instagram is a platform you need to be on!
Ok, So We Need An Instagram, Now What?
Once you have decided a business Instagram page is right for you, its time to get down to business. Here are some tips you can implement immediately to improve your online presence:
Post consistently and strategically. For the best results, post consistently on your Instagram account. We recommend posting between one and three times per week.
Leverage your Instagram bio. Use the link in your Instagram bio to promote specific products, business blog posts or landing pages.
Interact with other accounts. Engage with other accounts on the platform by liking and commenting on their posts and following hashtags.
Seek feedback. Engage with your followers by asking them for their opinions and customer feedback. This data can provide valuable market research insight.
Create a signature style on your Instagram grid. Your Instagram posts should have some level of style consistency that goes with your overall branding. You can do this by using specific colors, filters and angles.
Use hashtags thoughtfully. Use hashtags to make it easier for people to find your content. You can include up to 30 hashtags per Instagram post. However, too many hashtags can appear too "salesy" and off-putting.
Tell a story. Instagram users want to feel emotionally connected to the accounts they follow. Post some behind-the-scenes videos or photos, and give users a peek into your company’s processes or history they otherwise wouldn’t know.
Avoid These Common Instagram Mistakes
On the contrary, avoid these common Instagram mistakes:
Inundating followers: As a rule of thumb, posting more than three times a week tends to annoy followers. However, this number varies by industry and product type.
Being inauthentic: Never use auto-commenters or post generic-sounding comments. Authenticity is prized on Instagram, and being too robotic will cost you followers.
Posting clickbait: Although you should post interesting and engaging content, don’t add completely irrelevant or sensational content just to get reposts.
Being too sales-oriented: Posting sales-oriented content nonstop is a mistake. Followers don’t want to feel constantly pressured to purchase. Consider following the 5:3:2 rule for social media: For every 10 posts, curate five posts from other content, create three posts that are relevant to your audience, and use two posts to share fun content that humanizes your company. Connect with one of our consultants to build a social media sales flow that vibes.
Neglecting captions: While Instagram is a primarily visual medium, you can benefit from thoughtfully captioning your posts. Use captions to add interest or context to the image or video, or add a funny comment.
Ignoring negative feedback: Instagram is a highly interactive platform, and those who post negative comments expect a response. Pay attention to positive and negative feedback, and show your followers you care by responding thoughtfully.
Buying followers: Though a high follower count may look good initially, fake followers only hurt your Instagram marketing results. These followers won’t engage with your account and have no genuine interest in your company. Additionally, Instagram has been banning or even deleting accounts that have a majority of purchased followers or bot engagement.
More people than ever are actively paying attention to Instagram, whether that be for their daily use or simply to verify a brand's credibility. A good tactic is to search for other businesses or brands like yours, and see what they are up to on the 'gram. Verify what others are doing in your industry and you may find an angle you haven't thought of yet.
So here's the good news. Creating an Instagram business account is free. It is also fairly easy to get started and very user friendly to the first time 'grammer. As far as strategy, the most important thing to remember is consistency. We always recommend a strategy that "reverse engineers" your goals and utilizes as many business features on the app as possible.
If you need any assistance building your effortless Instagram strategy that drives traffic and generates leads on autopilot, contact YMA to get started.
Check out our Blog's hashtag strategy :-)
Read more about creating a custom hashtag strategy for your business.